In the ten years since the Office of Distinguished Fellowships was established, the number of Rutgers students competing for prestigious national fellowships has risen dramatically, and with this increase in applicants has come an equally dramatic one in both number of finalists and fellowship recipients. But you can’t simply throw numbers at selection committees, and talented and accomplished students alone aren’t enough by themselves. Indeed, if it weren’t for the generosity of faculty members who have given freely and often of their time and energy in order to support our candidates as they enter these demanding competitions, Rutgers would not now be enjoying such unprecedented success. Having professors willing to advise students about how to improve their applications or prepare for an interview can absolutely make the difference between a sterling candidacy and a merely good one.
But we don’t rely on faculty only for their hard-won expertise in applying and interviewing; they are also our most ready and reliable source for the sort of high-achieving students one must be to compete for fellowships of all sorts. There’s nothing more galvanizing than when a professor tells a student that they should be trying to win a fellowship. If you’ve never recommended one of your students to the Office of Distinguished Fellowships, please take the time to do so now, or if you are not quite sure if your student would be competitive, please read our description of the qualities that an ideal candidate must possess—and if they do, then recommend them!
A letter of recommendation from a Rutgers University world-renowned faculty member is an honor to receive. Students who are requesting a recommendation letter from you are applying to highly competitive external fellowship and scholarship programs. These students have participated as your interns, research assistants, or teaching assistants. Faculty are qualified to assess the student's development, strengths, characteristics, level of inquiry, and capabilities. For further information contact the Office of Distinguished Fellowships at 848-932-7231.